April 29, 2008
This sweet little dandelion lives in my front yard next to the walk, and I couldn't resist a picture, cozy the way it is with that grape hyacinth. They are two of the first flowers for the bees, and make me so happy. I "encourage" the dandelions in my yard, and this year there really are a lot of them. I always make a wish before I blow on the puffballs :)
Dandelions are an invaluable wild food, prolific and early, and full of vitality. I try to eat some almost every day as we come out of winter. The first day is a little odd, I'm never really sure how I feel about that bitterness. A funny thing happens to me on the second day. I can't stop thinking about dandelions! I begin to crave them.
Bitter is cold and dry energetically, the perfect flavor and energetic to lift the dampness and "stuck" feeling I have by the end of winter. My body craves fresh, wild foods.
Cooking with dandelions is so easy! I go outside with my steamer basket or a strainer, whatever I have handy. Look out across your lawn, and notice which plants call to you. You may think that some look brighter than others, or feel inexplicably drawn to some over others. These are the dandelions that are offering you their medicine. Be respectful of these beings, and thank them sincerely for their offerings. I always say "thank you" as I am harvesting. Take some from each plant, being careful to leave enough greenery behind to feed the plant.
Dandelion greens get more bitter as the season progresses, so later, when the bitterness becomes too much, you can pickle the leaves. Now, while the bitterness is tonic and pleasant, they make a nice addition to sauteed onions and mushrooms with garlic. I like to chop them and put them in soups, or make pesto! Dandelion pesto is fantastic! There are many many ways to prepare Dandelions. Be creative!
Last week I sauteed an onion with coconut oil in a saucepan until the onion was translucent. Then I added a can of pumpkin, a can of coconut milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. While the soup was warming back up, I went out to my front yard and picked a basket of dandelion greens. Rinsed and chopped, they went into the soup. My friends raved about that soup! It was tasty, and was adapted from a recipe I found in Susun Weed's Healing Wise. She has a really nice chapter on dandelions.
I also baked a salmon with rice and dandelion greens last week. I had high expectations, as everything that went into that pan was yummy! Turns out, according to my friend with a culinary degree, that I actually poached the salmon instead of baking, and that's why it came out kind of bland. I sprinkled Old Bay, Dill and Garlic powder liberally over the salmon fillet (wild caught Alaskan), then poured 1 C of rice around the salmon, covered the rice with 2C of hot water (should have been something with some flavor, like veggie stock) and then put washed and chopped dandelion greens on top of the rice. Yum, right? Not so much. The fish was bland, as was the rice. I put tamari on it and that saved the day. Had I used veggie stock instead of plain water, it would have come out the way I had anticipated. Now I know, and so do you! I baked the salmon at 350 for about 45 minutes. Next time it will be as fabulous as I imagine.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a gorgeous day, followed by a cold and rainy/snowy day, so I'll be out bright and early to harvest dandelion blossoms. Susun Weed has a recipe for Dandelion Cordial that is calling to me! I'll stop by the liquor store on the way home for some really nice Vodka, and keep you posted on the results!
April 20, 2008
I planted pansies as soon as I could, and some violas just went in. I tucked spinach and swiss chard amongst the blooms, hidden in plain sight on my front porch. Kale babies are nested in the holes of the cinderblocks that make up my garden. The dandelions! I love them :) Today I picked dandelion greens to doctor up my soup, and they were stupendous! There's just something about that bitter goodness that makes me wonder the first day of spring that I visit with them, and crave them every day thereafter. I even overheard an older couple walking down the sidewalk comment about cooking dandelion greens, as they witnessed me harvesting in my front yard.
Yesterday I took Athena to the dog park, wandered briefly at Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat, and walked to work in the evening. This was enough to earn me my first sunburn of the year :) It's just a little burn, and not painful at all. I am happy for spring and my war paint to prove it!
Walden Ponds is an interesting place, and I hadn't visited it before. Funny, I've lived in Boulder County for 6 1/2 years now, and haven't ever been. It's beautiful, and another of those great dichotomies of our culture. "Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat is located 5 miles northeast of Boulder, ½ mile south of the Jay Road and North 75th Street intersection on the west side of North 75th Street." link ~ The site used to be a gravel pit, and is now reclaimed, having turned into a very important wildlife habitat. It is fed by Boulder Creek, and is the transient home to many species of migratory birds. While I was there yesterday, there were red winged blackbirds singing, lots of Canadian Geese, an otter and a flock of really cool looking white birds with black edges on their wings. These were big birds with long legs, and without binoculars, I was clueless as to their actual identities. Gorgeous in flight. As you drive in, this beautiful sanctuary is on your right, you've just driven past a verdant pasture with horses grazing, and then there are piles of reclaimed asphalt and dirt on the left. Dichotomy. Regardless, this is an excellent place to go for fishing, birdwatching and simple enjoyment of nature. It could make for a nice out and back hike, as well. I'll be back on a day when I have good shoes and a hat!
April 11, 2008
I am a very busy woman, and I wear many different hats. I am a Healer. Student. Gardener. Entrepreneur. Daughter. Doberman’s Person. Friend and Sister. Conservationist. Feminist. Environmentalist. Idealist. Worm lover! Musician. Wise Woman. Vitalist…
I don’t have time for things that don’t work, or that take so long to work that you’re never really sure if they’re working at all! I like to see and feel results. I am a fan of what works. Reiki works. Flower and Gem essences work. Herbalism and Nutrition work. Spiritual bathing works. There is much in the world that works, but I can only speak to what I know.
I love it when after a Reiki session my client is riding out the door on the Bliss Train. I love the wonderful allies we have in essences, and their bringing-us-back-into-balance medicine! I love the life-altering effects of getting to the root of chronic illness through Diet, Lifestyle and Herbs! I love the way Spiritual Bathing can touch the things we often do not have names for, but sometimes do, and wash them away with warm, messy, colorful buckets of Sacred Water. I love the Magick and Wisdom of Wild Places, and the insights gained from quiet moments spent in solitude.
I am often asked what I specialize in. People want to know what I prefer; Reiki, Herbs or Nutrition. I have difficulty answering this question when put on the spot, as I have been busy following my heart along the Student/Healer path, and hadn’t really thought about a specialty before. I thought I should spend some time and really think about what I would like to say.
"I am a Healer, and I have many tools in my Medicine Bag. The tools that are brought out depend upon what that Person needs and is open to receiving. Everyone is unique, and so I specialize in plans, formulas and strategies tailored to the needs of the Person in front of me. My approach is Wholistic, and my intention is to treat People like People, instead of like a presenting set of symptoms."
You could say I specialize in making the world a better place, little bits at a time.
“In this age the fear of disease has developed until it has become a great power for harm, because it opens the door to those things we dread and makes it easier for their admission.”
Edward Bach, Heal Thyself